(noun, adjective, verb)


1. not in action or at work

- an idle laborer

- idle drifters

- the idle rich

Similar word(s): faineant, indolent, lazy, otiose, slothful, lackadaisical, leisured, unengaged, ineffective, ineffectual, uneffective, unemployed

2. without a basis in reason or fact

- idle fears

Similar word(s): unsupported, baseless, groundless, unfounded, unwarranted, wild

3. not in active use

- the machinery sat idle during the strike

- idle hands

Similar word(s): inactive, unused

4. silly or trivial

- idle pleasure

- light idle chatter

Similar word(s): frivolous, frothy, light

5. lacking a sense of restraint or responsibility

- idle talk

Similar word(s): irresponsible, loose

6. not yielding a return

- idle funds

Similar word(s): unprofitable, dead

7. not having a job

- idle carpenters

Similar word(s): unemployed, jobless

Sentences with idle as an adjective:

- idle hours;  My computer hibernates after it has been idle for 30 minutes.

- idle workmen

- an idle fellow

- an idle story;  idle talk;  idle rumor


1. the state of an engine or other mechanism that is idling

- the car engine was running at idle

Definition categories: state, operation


1. run disconnected or idle

Definition categories: contact

2. be idle; exist in a changeless situation

Similar word(s): laze, slug, stagnate

Definition categories: social

Sentences with idle as a verb:

- to idle in an IRC channel